India vs Australia 2019: Important takeaways from the 3rd ODI
The third ODI in Australia's tour of India, 2019 at Ranchi proved to be a run-heavy encounter. India won the toss and opted to bowl first. The visitors gladly took advantage of the batting-friendly conditions and posted a huge total. By the end of the 50 overs, Australia got 313/5.
The Indian team took up the humongous challenge to chase the big total. Their batting led by Virat Kohli was solid, but they fell short. India got bundled out for 281 in 48.2 overs.
The Indian team looked good in the first two ODIs but Australia clearly dominated them in the third ODI. The match has some interesting takeaways for us.
#1 The Centurion in Khawaja wakes up
Usman Khawaja has played some brilliant Test innings for Australia throughout his career. The 32-year-old has 8 Test centuries to his name but never scored an ODI century. He seems to have answered the wake-up call of India by scoring his maiden ODI hundred.
The Pakistani-born Australian batsman has even scored a century in Big Bash but when it comes to ODI he never converted his innings to a hundred. After this match, Khawaja can boldly say that he has an ODI hundred. He scored 104 runs in 113 balls.
Scoring a maiden ODI hundred against a tough opposition like India in away conditions is really a noteworthy achievement. If he manages to get more centuries in the remaining ODI games, it means that he can carry a ton of confidence heading into the World Cup.
#2 Virat Kohli's ton in vain
Virat Kohli, as usual, batted brilliantly. He knocked a very crucial 123 runs from 95 balls. The Indian captain seems to break and make records each and every match he steps in to play. It might be hard for India to get another Virat Kohli in the future.
After the match, Kohli stands as the captain who played the fewest innings to score 4000 ODI runs. His RCB teammate Ab de Villiers took 77 matches to achieve the feat. Virat now overtakes his record by achieving it in just 63 matches.
Further, Virat has most hundreds to his name after 225 ODIs. He scored 41 centuries, overtaking all-time greats like de Villiers, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.
Although he might be hard on himself for not leading the team to victory there is some comfort for him. Let's hope he bounces back in the remaining ODI games.
#3 The wounded tiger attacks
Aaron Finch has earned a lot of criticism for his performance as a captain lately. Although he won the T20I series against India, still Finch was unable to prove himself in the ODI games. Plus he did not score well in the first two ODIs.
ODI is the format which would concern the management till the 2019 World Cup. Most of the teams are heavily monitoring their players ahead of the impending tournament. Aaron Finch's previous performances against India in 2019 wouldn't have given them a good opinion.
However, as the old adage goes, wounded tigers are the most dangerous. The Australian captain showed characteristics of a wounded tiger with his 93 runs. It proved to be useful for the Aussies in the end. Finch now has to win the remaining games which would be easier said than done.
Let us see if Team India is prepared to face the Aussie counterattack in the remaining ODI games.
Will Australia continue their powerful performances against India or will the Kohli-led India stop an Aussie comeback? Let us know in the comments section.